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The More You Ignore Me: A Novel
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The More You Ignore Me: A Novel

3.0 6
by Jo Brand

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“Seriously Funny.”
The Mirror (UK) Book of the Week


The funniest and most original import from Britain since Monty Python’s Flying Circus, Jo Brand’s The More You Ignore Me manages to be both poignant and darkly comic at the same time. Actress and comedienne Brand—well known to viewers in the States


“Seriously Funny.”
The Mirror (UK) Book of the Week


The funniest and most original import from Britain since Monty Python’s Flying Circus, Jo Brand’s The More You Ignore Me manages to be both poignant and darkly comic at the same time. Actress and comedienne Brand—well known to viewers in the States from her work in Absolutely Fabulous—delivers an outrageous coming-of-age story in the tradition of the Adrian Mole novels, full of dysfunctional family life and celebrity obsession in the 1980s.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Brand’s (It’s Different for Girls) latest lacks focus as she alternates between the voices of a devoted husband, Keith, his schizophrenic wife, Gina, and their daughter, Alice. The story, set in a small English town, is best served when Alice dispels her concerns about the psychiatric illness that has left her mother, Gina, in a medicated fog throughout most of Alice’s young life. Alice’s voice is the most poignant and fleshed out, and she lends a certain charm to the tale, as does the clever twist of Alice’s obsession with musician Morrissey, who first hit the music charts with his band the Smiths in the early ’80s when Alice was a young teen. Her somber existence is mimicked in his music, which gives a solid sense of the period and Alice’s thoughts. Alice’s path provides an interesting insight into how a child deals with a parent’s mental illness, but the book as a whole misses the mark, pulling in too many directions. And the introduction of Gina’s family, an uneducated country bumpkin clan, only adds to the confusion. (June)
“The farce always blends with sorrow, and the sense of cartoon families everywhere makes for touching sitcom drama.”
“interesting, and quirky, and worth your time”
“interesting, and quirky, and worth your time”

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
8.02(w) x 5.40(h) x 0.80(d)

Meet the Author

A former psychiatric nurse, stand-up comic Jo Brand has a large following throughout the UK. Her TV series Through the Cakehole and All the Way to Worcester met with great acclaim, and in 2003 she was listed in The Observer as one of the fifty funniest acts in British comedy. She is currently cowriting and starring in the BBC Four sitcom Getting On. Brand has written three novels and two humor books, is married with two children, and lives in South London.

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The More You Ignore Me 3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
harstan More than 1 year ago
In Herfordshire, England, Alice wonders what a normal family is. Her maternal grandparents prefer intoxication rather than sobering sobriety. Her mother Gina is either in a pharmaceutical induced stupor or a schizophrenic miasma. Her dad Keith tries to maintain a modicum of normalcy, but living in a cottage with two drunks and a lunatic who prefers to run the streets naked is asking a lot of any person; so the lass created five personas like an actress and not like split personalities as she knows her roles she uses to deal with her family and the neighbors. When Gina is taken away to the psychiatric hospital for posing nude on the roof after the meteorologist declined her kind offer of a tryst, Keith tries to help his daughter. Gina has fears that she is a chip off the maternal block as her grandparents are considered drunken terrorists by the neighbors and her mom when not confined runs nude in the streets of Herfordshire. Adding to her concerns re her own mental state is her obsession with the singer Morrissey of Smith and Mark while her father struggles with caring for his two females and his attraction to Marie Henty. Rotating perspective over a couple of decades, this is an intriguing family drama as readers see deeply how Keith and Alice cope with Gina and the grandparents. The story line is summed up with a strong climatic revelatory Dunk that will open the readers' eyes as it does the morose "This Charming Man" Keith. Although the troubles caused by the grandparents detract from an otherwise profound family drama by adding too much tsuris to the mix. Still readers will relish The More You Ignore Me (The Closer I Get) as "There Is A Light That Never Goes Out" regardless of what happens to loved ones. Harriet Klausner
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Eloise18 More than 1 year ago
I do not want to give away any spoilers, but I was really disappointed throughout the book. It was odd, because it was a quick read and I looked forward to reading it - but I think it was because I kept hoping that it would get better. This book has all of the components that would make it a great story, but it falls short on so many levels. There were character's who popped up throughout the story without introduction, and then they were never mentioned again. I was expecting so much more from the Wildgoose clan. There was so much potential to develop them into the off-beat characters the introduction made them out to be. I was also extremely disappointed with the character of Gina. The author never really dug as deeply she could have with the relationship between Gina and Alice. This should have been a larger part of the novel. As Alice grows and matures throughout the novel it seems as if there are a lot of things the author skims over. I found myself re-reading various parts to see if I had missed something, realizing that it was never entirely explained. The relationship between Mark and Alice is odd too. It seems that the author is trying to indicate that he is gay and then one simple stopping at a gay pub is all it took to confirm that he is indeed straight. This is a bit ridiculous. Prior to that their first encounter on the couch seemed to be somewhat age appropriate, but the aftermath seems that it should have been much more traumatizing and played a much larger role in developing Alice and who she becomes. I was also disappointed by the ending of the book. It's as if Gina was an entirely different person and the idea that she would agree to the triple wedding is ridiculous. She's described throughout the book as a schizophrenic and the idea that she could have a wedding with her husband and daughter without making a scene is crazy. This is not a woman who seems to be able to make any rational decisions. The kindness she shows at the end doesn't make any sense in comparison to who she has been. Again, I'm just disappointed with the novel and in all regards I would not recommend this book to others. It was nothing at all like the synopsis read. It was a book that had so much potential, but yet lacked in so many key areas.